Still tracking sales on a Spreadsheet? Kudos to you for embracing tradition. But if you want to improve sales numbers, boost efficiency, and save precious resources, you need a sales tracking system.
No matter the industry, access to sales insights enables businesses to make data-driven decisions that streamline the overall sales process. Remember, sales involve many moving parts; you can’t keep track of them alone.
The only problem is choosing the right sales tracking system for your unique needs. We’re here to help you do just that. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to get a firm understanding of the following:
- Why every business should have a sales tracking system
- The fundamentals of a sales tracking system
- Sales tracking systems we recommend
- Best practices to consider to utilize your tools fully
Why Does Every Business Need a Sales Tracking System?
Tracking sales performance isn’t a recommendation—it’s essential. For businesses to succeed, they need measurable, repeatable, and scalable sales strategies.
You can’t really “measure” progress without tracking key metrics. But sales tracking systems contribute to much more than showing you data; you also get the following benefits:
Track Performance Toward Goals
Establishing a sales tracking system lets you see your progress toward your goals and benchmarks. It determines if you’ve hit quotas, are performing poorly, or need to investigate underlying issues with your sales strategies.
Having a system in place gives insight into your key sales funnel metrics. Understanding critical metrics optimizes your sales process, improves conversions, and boosts closing rates.
Create Better Pipelines
Successful sales campaigns rely on your ability to maintain healthy pipelines. Tracking sales provides insight that can improve lead funnels, prospecting strategies, and each stage of the sales funnel.
Gain Insight Into Lead Data and Buying Intent
Sales representatives must focus on leads with the highest buying intent. We use qualification tools paired with lead tracking to identify these types of leads.
For example, your sales tracking system can recognize which lead is most likely to reply based on user action, the content they interacted with, or their replies during outreach.
Highlights Sales Opportunities
Many potential conversions go over our heads if we’re tracking sales manually. However, utilizing the right tools can help us discover potential sales opportunities that SDRs can focus on.
This is where sales forecasting comes in. Utilizing big data and analytics, we can spot potential revenue based on our sales performance in a given time frame.
Centralizes Data for Relevant Departments
As mentioned earlier, sales have many moving parts. That means your sales department won’t be the sole player that needs to find success.
Marketing, analytics, research, and especially executive departments must have access to centralized data and extract relevant insights for their respective roles.
Remember, each department has a different benchmark for success—sales tracking aids in identifying specific metrics for specific benchmarks.
Sales Tracking Systems We Recommend Going Into 2024
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all tool for sales tracking. Each business has its own unique needs. But, the following tools cover all the fundamentals needed to work in most companies regardless of industry. Find what works for you and test it out for yourself!
Instantly Deal Flow CRM
Most sales tracking systems are separate entities from your typical outreach tools. If you want to centralize your email outreach campaign and track sales progress, Instantly’s Deal Flow CRM might just be for you.
Deal Flow is intuitive and acts like Trello, with the added benefit of immediate sales insights, lead tracking, and potential revenue. Since it's integrated into Instantly, leads from cold email campaigns can be added directly to your sales pipelines.
More importantly, you don’t have to spend extra on a third-party CRM. Plus, its ease of use means there’s no need to spend countless hours trying to learn the ins and outs of Deal Flow.
Hubspot is like the Swiss Army Knife of CRMs with tools for both inbound and outbound marketing. If you’re using the free version, things are pretty simple and can handle most of the needs of small and medium businesses.
When you plan to get a higher tier and access to more premium features, Hubspot has a robust library of resources to help you make the best of each tool. And if you’re ever stuck, Hubspot has one of the best customer support among all CRMs.
If you want a solid CRM and project management tool, look no further than Pipedrive. Not only can it help your in-house team track sales, but it can also track your clients’ sales progress if you’re outsourcing your sales management services.
One of the best features Pipedrive has is its ability to automate your sales pipelines. For example, if a deal is won, you can create new deals in a brand-new pipeline. This gives you a clear view of your prospects' new and old stages.
Zoho is another CRM or sales tracking system that’s easy to set up. It has features that are more or less essential for every sales strategy. Users can use apps like eSigning, cloud storage, and even accounting.
What’s more impressive is that Zoho can also be a communications platform. Industries like eCommerce benefit significantly from this as it can streamline and optimize communication marketing. You can use Zoho as your entire team's marketing, customer support, and internal communication tool.
Odoo is a mixed bag of pros and cons depending on your skill level and business needs. For starters, you get a highly customizable, easy-to-use CRM for most business needs, regardless of size.
However, Odoo isn’t the best CRM to use if you want something more plug-and-play. Although it's intuitive, you need to designate people to do XYZ tasks. Plus, you need to pay overhead for developers to get tailored customizations for your business.
But if you want to run your site on Odoo and have the infrastructure and the resources to do so, it’s an excellent choice that can provide you with everything you want.
ClickUp can help you automate your sales tracking tasks and create subtasks for each lead stage. Users can convert leads into opportunities and get updated on their stage in your sales process.
You can customize your pipelines depending on what you need. For example, you can create a pipeline called “Opportunities” with stages called “discovery, presentation, forecasted revenue, actual losses, and actual gains.”
If you want something simple for small and medium enterprises, then ClickUp can be something to consider. But it's not recommended if you want to run a more complex sales process.
Small businesses that require an all-in-one solution for their sales and marketing needs should consider Vtiger strongly, especially if you’re into eCommerce.
It can handle inventory and marketing, act as a customer help desk, and be a project management tool. It is a CRM that can easily track lead activity and customer interaction.
Best Practices When Using Sales Tracking Systems
As a rule of thumb, you should pick an intuitive sales tracking system that covers fundamentals like analytics and helps you streamline your overall sales strategies. To help you make the most out of the tools you use, follow these best practices:
Establish a Solid CRM Implementation Plan
CRMs are an investment not only in money but also in time. That’s why you should always create a CRM implementation plan.
We recommend establishing a CRM budget, running through CRM integration verifications, and evaluating different CRM providers before investing in one.
Don’t forget to implement sales enablement strategies like staff training or providing resources for CRM or sales tracking system best practices.
Don’t Over Customize
When developing a sales strategy, most of the time, less means more. Don’t focus too much on creating customized solutions for your business. This costs a lot of unnecessary overhead.
Instead, customize only when necessary. This applies to CRMs like Zoho, which has 15 modules by default that you can add on to. If you do so, ensure it’s necessary for your overall sales strategy.
Keep CRM Data Healthy
Most sales tracking systems have a lot of automation features. But that doesn’t mean you can just leave it on auto-pilot. Remember to maintain a clean and healthy database.
Ensure that the data being used is relevant to current campaigns. Clean data means all lead data is up-to-date and pipelines are maintained.
To achieve this, ensure all data is validated, accurate, and enriched. Also, make a habit of enhancing your lead list whenever updates occur.
Sales tracking systems or CRMs provide a roadmap for business success. You just have to know which one meshes well with your team. As a recap, here’s what we recommend:
- Use Instantly if you want a CRM integrated into your outreach tool.
- Hubspot and Pipedrive provide support for both inbound and outbound sales efforts.
- Zoho has many tools for streamlining sales processes like eSignatures and accounting.
- Odoo has tons of customizable options but requires an established system.
- ClickUp and Vtiger are great if you’re looking into CRMs for eCommerce.
Sales tracking systems provide insight into approaching your lead and closing a sale. Instantly is the tool that converts those insights into action! Start for free today!